July 2018: Highlights and Activities

International Meetings attended by MCA representatives

64th Radio Spectrum Committee Meeting
This meeting was held in Brussels, Belgium, between 11 and 12 July 2018 and has in particular adopted a number of instruments concerning radio spectrum harmonisation. Amongst other things the Committee gave a positive opinion to a draft Commission Implementing Decision on the harmonisation of radio spectrum for use by short range devices within the 874-876 and 915-921 MHz frequency bands. A draft Mandate to CEPT to develop ‘5G-ready’ technical conditions for the EU-harmonised 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, paired terrestrial 2 GHz and 2.6 GHz frequency bands, based on least restrictive technical conditions (i.e. BEM) was also approved.  This work will serve to update the respective Commission Decisions concerning these spectrum bands with a view to facilitating their 5G use as of 2020 onwards.  Another draft Mandate to CEPT on spectrum for railways was also approved by the meeting.  Moreover the meeting also initiated the review of the Commission Decision concerning the harmonisation of radio spectrum in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band.

EMERG Workshop on Quality of Service Regulation for Broadband Networks
An MCA representative attended a workshop on Quality of Service (QoS) Regulation for Broadband Networks, which was organised by EMERG and held in Barcelona, Spain, between the 11th and 12th of July 2018.  During the workshop, various member states and other experts shared their views and experiences on the subject matter.

5th Partners' Meeting of The Smart Women Project
MCA officials participated in the fifth partners meeting of the Smart Women project which took place in Riga, Latvia between the 10th and 12th July 2018. The aim of the meeting was to gather feedback from all partners about the piloting that was being held in parallel across all the partnering countries. The feedback received was very positive and the training program was deemed fruitful among the participants of the project. This will see the end of the project in the last quarter of this year, when the piloting should be completed and the results of the project presented in a closing conference, which will be held in Malta in October coinciding with Erasmus+ day.
Smart Women is an Erasmus + strategic partnership on vocational education and training and led by the MCA. This training programme, intended to instruct women who have an entrepreneurial idea or a business and basic digital skills in e-commerce. The women will be able to bring their business online, boosting their chances to increase their customer base and take part in cross-border trade, benefiting from the digital single market.
This project has a female driven focus, which will help promote women’s participation in the workforce by creating work that does not force people to choose between their families and work but creates work and careers that can complement or even work with family lifestyles. For more info visit http://smartwomenproject.eu/

BEREC Benchmarking Meeting & ERGP Market Indicators Drafter Meeting
An MCA representative attended the BEREC Benchmarking Meeting which was held on the 10th July in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting dealt with various updates regarding the ongoing BEREC projects. Possible 2019 projects were mentioned but are still too soon to finalise as next year work projects. The ERGP Market Indicators Drafter meeting was held on the 11th July 2018, also in Brussels, Belgium, during which the position on the analysis process and timeframes regarding the documentation was discussed.

BEREC Expert Working Group Meeting on Mobile Connectivity
The MCA participated in the BEREC Expert Working Group (EWG) which treated the subject of mobile connectivity on the 10th July 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. The EWG is currently working on a common position in regards to mobile infrastructure sharing and best practices towards the spectrum authorisation and award procedures, taking also into account the view towards 5G. The working group earmarked completion of these work streams towards the end of this year. The work streams under discussion are aimed to facilitate the roll-out of 5G networks in the near future.

BEREC Expert Working Group Meeting on Full International Roaming
On the 5th July 2018, the MCA participated in the Full International Roaming Expert Working Group (IR-EWG) meeting which was organised by the Body of the European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) in Brussels, Belgium. The purpose of the meeting was to finalise a paper drafted by BEREC on the legal assessment of zero rated offers and similar offers in regards to roaming in EU countries and to discuss a paper on the application of the surcharge for zero rated roaming data traffic once exceeding the fair use limit. In addition, an analysis of the 19th and 20th International Roaming Benchmark report was presented, which included statistics compiled from feedback to questionnaires on international roaming activities carried out by various National Regulatory Authorities. During the meeting the Roaming Cost Study Steering Committee gave an update on the exercise being carried out by Axon consultants which were commissioned by the European Commission to assess the costs of providing wholesale roaming services in the EU/EEA countries.

48th Electronic Communications Committee Meeting
The Authority participated in the 48th meeting of the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) which was held in Rome between the 3rd and 6th July 2018. The meeting approved a number of radio spectrum harmonisation instruments.  In particular, it approved for publication a set of deliverables, which provide the harmonised technical conditions for Mobile/Fixed Communications Networks (MFCN) in the bands 3.4-3.8 GHz and 24.25-27.5 GHz.  These establish the technical basis for 5G deployments in these two bands in Europe.  Deliverables addressing Earth Stations in Motion (ESIM) operating in the KU-frequency bands with geostationary and non-geostationary networks were also approved.  These provide the conditions for the harmonised use of the bands by the corresponding ESIM, their exemption from individual licensing, and free circulation and use.


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MCA Events

The MCA Launches FastTrak to Mobile Business
On 17th July, the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) launched the second phase of the FastTrak project, with particular focus on mobile commerce and mobile marketing.
Addressing those present for the launch, the Honourable Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, the Honourable Silvio Schembri stressed that projects like FastTrak to Mobile Business are necessary when considering how the telco industry has kept up with mobile device advancements, and that Malta has been at the forefront in this sector with 4.5G being been rolled out nationwide and with 5G in the pipeline.

FastTrak to Mobile Business is mainly targeted at businesses of all sizes and those individuals aspiring to operate in the commerce industry in the near future. Through these sessions, which are being offered free of charge, participants will have the opportunity to explore the benefits of integrating mobile into both the marketing strategy and in the decision-making processes within their business.
FastTrak to Mobile Business will introduce participants to the basic concepts and the value of mobile, mobile optimisation, mobile apps, mobile search and mobile advertising, social media on mobile, laws and security.

The sessions will commence this September and various intakes will be repeated throughout September and October. Training will be held in the evenings from 18:30-20:00 hrs at MCAST Paola and Business First in Mrieħel. Participants will receive a certificate of completion after the session. This project is supported by MITA, MEA, MCAST and Business First.

Register for FastTrak to Mobile Business via the link - https://mca.org.mt/content/fasttrak-mobile-business

MCA Launches eBiznify - eCommerce Training Programme
The MCA, as the entity responsible for the implementation of the National eCommerce Strategy, 2014 – 2020, is offering an eCommerce training programme, named ‘eBiznify’.  The first course commencing in October 2018 will be delivered online via a dedicated eLearning platform. It will help participants understand eCommerce, and provide guidance on the development of eCommerce-related services.

eBiznify is open to both business-owners and individuals seeking to exploit digital commerce, empowering them to compete effectively in today’s global marketplace. Fully accredited by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE), participants will have the opportunity to follow this course via a dedicated eLearning platform, completely free of chargeThis course will guide participants through a series of modules, including an Introduction to eCommerce, Taking your Business Online, Promoting Your Online Business, Delivering Your Products, Cross-border eCommerce, Content Design & Development, and Data Analytics.

To be eligible to enrol for the course, participants need to have completed, at least, up to secondary level of education, possess basic knowledge of ICT and completed a basic course on digital marketing (e.g. FastTrak or similar) or have a minimum of one year experience in a retail/business environment.

Register for eBiznify at www.mca.org.mt/initiatives/ecommerce-training-programme 

 ‘eBiznify’ is supported by Jobsplus, Malta Enterprise and the Directorate for Lifelong Learning, in collaboration with the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Malta Employers’ Association, and GRTU – Malta Chamber of SMEs.

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Media participation by MCA


19.07.18              ‘Newsline' – Radju Malta

                             (eBiznify, the eCommerce Training Programme - Denise Borda)

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Legal Updates

Pending Lawsuits

  • 12th July 2018: Vodafone vs MCA before ART – contesting MCA’s decision entitled ‘Virtual unbundled Access to Fibre-to-the-home: implementing the VULA remedy’ – adjourned to the 16th October 2018 for continuation of evidence.
  • 12th July 2018: Vodafone vs MCA before ART - contesting MCA’s decision entitled “Wholesale call origination on the public telephone network provided at a fixed location in Malta – MCA decision on market definition and the assessment of competition”, Case adjourned for final submissions by Vodafone for the 16th October 2018.
  • 12th July 2018: Vodafone vs MCA before ART - contesting an MCA's decision following a dispute filed by Vodafone against GO plc requesting access to GO’s ducts networks, Adjourned to 16th October 2018 for the presentation of Vodafone’s written submissions.
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